A rising tide lifts all the boats
Clint Chan Tack
TOURISM, Culture and Arts Minister Randall Mitchell predicts rebounds in Trinidad and Tobago’s tourism and culture sectors as the government continues efforts to reopen both sectors during the covid19 pandemic.
In his contribution to the Senate budget debate on Wednesday, Mitchell said, âWe are not going to spoil a good crisis.
Noting that the country’s tourism and creative sectors have been hit hard by the pandemic, Mitchell said the government has done what it can to help these sectors get back on their feet. This included supporting existing hotels to upgrade their infrastructure and attract other hotels to establish a presence.
Tobago, Mitchell continued, is expected to benefit from these developments, including a $ 500 million project at Rocky Point that will see the construction of an integrated tourist site including a 200-room Marriott hotel.
Given Marriott’s international reputation as a premier brand, Mitchell said it will market Tobago as a tourist destination like never before. He listed several other hotel projects on the two islands that are expected to go into operation over the next year.
“A rising tide lifts all boats.” It predicts that by 2025 there will be 852 new hotel rooms and 1,000 permanent jobs in the tourism sector.
Mitchell said TT would also benefit from increased airlift capacity, which was highlighted with the return of KLM Airlines last weekend, after a 20-year absence. Recalling the ministry’s efforts to vaccinate cultural artists so that they can travel to the United States to perform and saying some were involved in the recent Miami Carnival, Mitchell said the return of KLM provides an opportunity for artists. locals and carnival actors to participate in the Rotterdam carnival. .
Mitchell also said efforts are underway to reactivate an air route between New York and Tobago that Caribbean Airlines (CAL) used in the past.
Although carnival remains TT’s main cultural attraction, Mitchell said efforts are being made to promote other festivals in TT as potential tourist attractions.
He also said domestic tourism was boosted during the pandemic, with many citizens choosing to spend time at various local hotels and guesthouses, while TT’s borders were closed. The borders were reopened in July.
Referring to an earlier contribution by opposition Senator Anil Roberts, Mitchell said that one thing the UNC never did during its tenure in government from 2010 to 2015 was to develop a tangible sports tourism initiative.